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On the cusp of adventure…Alba bound!

Well, I’m sitting here at the airport contemplating the adventure upon which I’m about to embark. Several years ago I probably would never have even considered flying over 4,000 miles away to ramble through the Scottish Highlands on my own (for the first week at least), but this is yet another thing you can chalk up to Diana Gabaldon writing a book.

Not only did reading Outlander directly influence my desire to see the Highlands myself, but it also introduced me to an entire world of new friends with common interests. These common interests and the desire to share in the Outlander community has already led me to Los Angeles, Seattle and San Diego this year. In those places I have met fabulous people with whom I discovered I have way more in common that just Outlander. Some of these people have become really close friends (you know who you are!).

I have also been privileged to make many friends online through Twitter and Facebook groups as well as through this blog. Several of whom have been absolutely invaluable in planning this trip.  I have had offers trip planning advice and more places to stay than I have nights planned for this trip, I think. I just want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has helped me make this trip a reality.

For those of you who haven’t made it to Scotland yet, or those who haven’t made it back recently enough, I will do my absolute best to keep you up to date on all of my adventures. I’ll be hitting the ground running tomorrow afternoon and don’t expect to stop until I board the flight back home in just over two weeks! For the first week it’s just me, but next week I’ll be joined by the lovely and talented Candida Nunez.  Between the two of us, I promise there will be adventures to write home about and I fully expect to fill the blog with pictures!

Goodbye for now! I have a plane to catch. I’ll meet you back here from the other side of the Atlantic soon!

–Mandy

 

Outlander

Revised and Improved – So what is your ‘Official Outlander name’ in Gàidhlig?

Note that I have reworked this list and added additional names. First, the list is now alphabetized by English name which I hope will make it much easier to use. I have also come across a list of name translations from a book circa the early 1900’s thanks to KristenK! These names have been added to the list but I don’t have pronunciations for them.

Welcome to the Clan!

Àdhamh Ó Broin (@an_comhghallach), Gàidhlig ambassador extraordinaire and tutor to the Outlander cast and crew, invites you to find your name below and then use your imagination to hear him (or Sam if you prefer) saying the following in his best ‘How to Speak Outlander’ voice:

 “Say it with me,  __insert your Gàidhlig name here__ . You now have your own official OUTLANDER name! Latha math leibh!”

If there is no pronunciation guide given, then it is pronounced the same as English or I don’t have a pronunciation for the name yet. Also, keep in mind that because some of our more modern names don’t truly exist in Gàidhlig, what is given here is an approximation using the equivalent Gàidhlig spelling for the English sounds.

Abigail –  Abagail /AHbagle/ ‘gle’ like in waggle

Adam – Àdhamh /AHgiv/

Adeline – Àdailin /AHdaleen/

Agnes – Una

Alana – Alàna / /

Albert – Ailbert

Alice – Ailis

Alexander – Alasdair

Alison – Àlasan / ALison

Allan – Ailean

Amber – Òmarag /AWmarak/

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Outlander Episode 101 – More Gàidhlig bits

If you missed my first post last week covering episode 101: Sassenach, you can find it here. However, after—uh hem—several more viewings, I have managed to pick out just a few more tidbits of Gàidhlig from the inaugural episode of Outlander.

7:55 The phrase that Mrs. Baird says about Saint Odhran

 

Several people have asked me what that first bit of Gàidhlig we hear is right after Claire hears the gunshot. It appears to be something that Angus yells at the Redcoats right before firing at them. I’m happy to say that it has finally been identified! As might be expected, it’s not very complimentary of the soldiers. ;-)

41:00 Angus fires gun and yells at the Redcoats

“A bhalgair” /ə VALAgir/ (ya bastard!) (filthy cur, really)

Thanks to @VenusOctober for asking Àdhamh about this one when Murtagh brings Claire into the cottage (44:35):

 

52:31 Jamie to Dougal about the ambush

I can’t catch the exact words but there is something about lass and redcoats. :-)

53:19 Someone sees the Redcoats and yells

Shaighdearan – soldiers ( I think this is correct but not confirmed.)

54:30 Jamie to the horse

Stad! – stay! (Be sure to admire Sam’s nice plaid twirl)

56:16 Jamie to Claire to drink the whisky

deoch – drink

OK. That’s all I have to add at this point. If I decipher anything else, I’ll be sure to update.

Thanks to the free preview for episode 101, I was able to live tweet a bit of the Gàidhlig during the premiere Saturday night. Unfortunately though, I won’t have that advantage going forward, so you will have to come to the blog to find out about the Gàidhlig.

View of Centre Hallway House

I climbed a hill and lost 200 years but where is Jamie?

Mea culpa…

Hmm. Maybe I should have thought twice about committing to writing blog posts while I was on vacation.  I seem to be getting a bit lax about deadlines as the vacation progresses. I guess it’s a good thing no one enforces the deadlines but me. :-)

Anyway, when last we met I was looking forward to visiting The Highland Village Museum (An Clachan Gàidhealach) at Iona in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. I am happy to report that I had a spectacular visit on a beautiful sunny day last week. The Village is spread across a hill overlooking the great Bras d’Or inland sea but the views before you even enter the village proper are just spectacular. I was also presented with immediate opportunities to test my Gàidhlig comprehension (I give myself a B+).

A Journey Begins…

Once I paid for my admission ticket, I began my journey through the history of Cape Breton settlement. There weren’t any stones but I still managed to lose over 200 years as I climbed the tree-shaded path up the hill. I wonder if I will find Jamie?

The first habitation on my tour is a Black House—or An Taigh Dubh in Gàidhlig. This is the type of dwelling that many Scottish emigrants left in Scotland when they moved across the Atlantic to Nova Scotia. As I stepped into the hazy darkness of the single room lit only by a peat fire, I was greeted by it’s resident—a shepherd who tended his lordship’s flocks. He apologized for the clutter, as he was in the final stages of preparing to move across the Great Sea to join his wife and children who had already left. He was very interested to hear if I had any first-hand information about the new land of Nova Scotia. I tried to channel my best inner Claire (a character in Outlander for the uninitiated) and make a few comments without prophesying like Cassandra. ;-)

A trifle gratefully, I made my escape from the Black House and move further up the hill toward the first habitations of the Scots in the new world of Cape Breton.

An alien land…

Continuing up the hill, I paused to speak to some other new residents—Heiland Coos!

Once passed the coos, I entered the realm of the first Scots in Nova Scotia. The first thing the Scots had to do when they arrived was clear the great forests that covered their new home. As those of you who are familiar with the Scottish Highlands may realize, this was quite a change from the deforested landscape most of them had left. In fact, many of them had only carried a single axe head on their voyage and had to craft a handle for that before it could even be used.

However, once they did manage to get some trees felled, they were able to build dwellings for themselves and their animals. Entering the log cabin, I was greeted by a frontierswoman—in Gaelic!  I answered her ‘Ciamar a tha sibh?’ with ‘Glè mhath.’ I fancy she was a bit surprised but I don’t think even I could butcher the pronunciation of that too badly. Pleasantries exchanged, she was happy to show me around her humble home.

Prosperity beckons…

Exiting the Log Cabin (Taigh-logaichean), I made my way forward in time to the house of a slightly more prosperous farmer who owned a center-chimney house. This dwelling was a vast improvement over the log cabin. It had painted walls, a hardwood floor and actual partitioned rooms—all clustered around a central fireplace that provided not only for cooking but also the heat for the entire house. Also, many of the rooms served more than one function. You will note in one of the pictures below that the living room is set up for a milling frolic where they waulk the wool to make the cloth softer and more durable. An interesting note about waulking wool—in Scotland waulking was done exclusively by women but in Nova Scotia it was done by women and men. Personally, I think the men just didn’t want to be left out of the singing and gossiping that were part of any Cape Breton function. For all you Outlander fans, I have heard that there may be a waulking scene in Outlander!

After leaving the previous house, I ventured into the church that has served the community for hundreds of years. One of the things I have noticed since I first began coming to Cape Breton almost 15 years ago, is that every community seems to have set aside the piece of land with the best view for their church, and this was no exception.

Leaving the church situated on the high ground, I descended into a Cape Breton village of roughly the 19th century time period. I stopped to peek into a Centre Hallway house from about 1865 and admired the brand new cook-stove. Such a time-saver for the farmer’s wife.

Tentative steps…

After the 1865 house, I walked past the Village School and then stepped into a turn-of-the-century General Store. This is where I got very brave. Not only did I answer the Storekeeper’s ‘Ciamar a tha sibh’ query with ‘Glè mhath,’ but I even ventured a further comment on the weather—’Tha e glè briagh an-diugh!’  Smugly I thought to myself—Àdham would be so proud—unfortunately, however, the storekeeper took this to mean I spoke Gaelic fluently and unleashed a torrent of Gaelic at me. Luckily, she quickly interpreted my panicked deer-in-the-headlights look correctly and switched back to English. We did have a lovely conversation though about how I came to speak even a little Gaelic and I took the opportunity to tell her about a new upcoming television series called Outlander. ;-)

I finally found Jamie…

Next up on my path through the village was the Blacksmith’s Shop. And guess what!! I finally found Jamie. Ok, so maybe he’s not a six-foot four-inch Highland Scot with red hair, but he does speak Gaelic and has a useful skill! I took a few pictures and a quick video of him at work making nails. (And just maybe had a brief flashback to a certain scene in MOBY).

The last stop on my tour of the Highland Village Museum was a turn of the 20th century house. These are the types of houses still much in evidence in many places on Cape Breton. In this house, modern appliances such as stoves, washing machines and ice cream churns are starting to be seen. As I concluded my tour, I stopped to read the signboard about the 21st century Gaels in Cape Breton and also to make a purchase in the gift shop. I’ve never yet experienced anything easy about Gaelic but I’m hopeful this little book will live up to its cover.

I hope you’ve enjoyed taking this tour through the Cape Breton Highland Village museum with me. If you are ever in Cape Breton—and I sincerely hope you will visit—be sure to stop by. You can find all the details about planning a visit at their website: Highland Village Museum

Final note…

I also wanted to take a moment to congratulate Linda Schultz (@lsdragonfly1) on winning the first ever GreatScot! giveaway. I know that the signed first edition copy of Written in My Own Heart’s Blood and the Outlander poster will have a wonderful home—just as soon as I’m home long enough to mail it!

Stay tuned for the next post all about my visit to the Gaelic College (Colaisde na Gàidhlig) where I see a man about a kilt, observe a waulking demonstration and listen to some fine fiddling from a former Premier of Nova Scotia!

WOD

What Outlander Means to Me – Words in honor of #WorldOutlanderDay

So several people have asked me today if I was planning to write anything for #WorldOutlanderDay. I wasn’t really planning to, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I do have a story to tell.  I may even admit to my darkest, most shameful Outlander secret.

In the beginning…

From reading many reminiscences today, I’ve realized that many, if not most, Outlander fans can point to the exact month and year they first read Outlander. I’m not like that.  I’m pretty sure I picked up my first copies of Outlander and Dragonfly in Amber at a Barnes and Noble somewhere in the mid 90s but I couldn’t say when. And although I know how strongly Diana objected to them being there, I likely would not have ever found the books in a bookstore if they had not been in the Romance section. Anyway, I bought them and took them home. And they sat on my shelf for days, months, dare I say, years. I know I tried to start Outlander several times, but I never seemed to make it past the magic first 100 pages. Finally, in the midst of a paperback book-reducing frenzy, I did something I can’t believe I’m admitting in public: much less in an Outlander-related post, I traded Outlander and Dragonfly in at a used book store.

I know, I know. I can hear the gasps and screams of outrage already. I have no real excuse. Looking back, I can only come up with a couple of reasons why I think Outlander didn’t “click” for me back then. First, I was pretty young.  I was only 23 or 24 and was still pretty much living in the bosom of my family and I think I just had a hard time relating to Claire.  Second, although I’ve always been a huge fan of historically based fiction, neither WWII nor the Jacobite period had ever numbered among my favorite historical time periods. Somehow both these factors, plus never making it past the first 100 pages, doomed me into making a tragic mistake.  Most of you will be quite relieved to note however that now, when I recommend Outlander to others, I make them sign a blood oath  not to stop reading before magic page 100.

Seeing the light–

Luckily, unlike so many other things in life, I was offered a second chance.  I was attending a music festival in Wilkesboro, NC, ( not too far from the fictional location of Fraser’s Ridge) when I started chatting with a weaver who was exhibiting her wares in the arts and crafts tent.  As we were talking about different historically set books we had read, she asked me if I had read Outlander. I readily admitted that I had purchased the book at one time but had never ‘got into it.’ Looking back, I think I’m really lucky she decided to have anything more to do with me. However, as I listened to this lady extol the virtues of the series, I resolved to give Outlander another go, and boy is that a decision that has impacted my life.

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